It is always so interesting to hear how people get started in gardening and farming. The following is the touching story of how Michael Karp of Cosmos’ Acres came to tend an avacado and fruit tree grove even when faced with tragedy in his life.
“In 2010, my wife and I were happily living in Big Bear Lake, a mountain ski resort in Southern California. That Spring, we had planned a vacation to a rural area of San Diego County. Since housing prices were reduced and interest rates low, we decided to look for a “retirement home” in this beautiful and temperate area. Long story made short, we purchased a home on 5 acres of avocado grove and misc other fruit trees. We planned to rent out the home, “vacation” in a motor home on a back portion of the property, yet continue to make Big Bear our primary residence.
A few months later, my wife was admitted to the hospital. Confronted with the fleeting nature of life, we decided that we had better start living out our retirement dream as soon as she regained her health. However, she never left the hospital alive. I decided to live the dream on my own, with my wife in my heart along for the ride and her dog-Cosmo as my external companion.
Since the Fall of 2010, I have refurbished the ailing avocado grove single-handedly. I began by “stumping” the trees, cutting back the long and lanky growth so that they could grow back stronger. I repaired the irrigation system, established a fertilization schedule, combated crop disease, and shaped/pruned new growth. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot. There were workshops to attend, University Extension and government consultants to call upon, and neighbors to talk to.
The several trees that I’ve left intact have born beautiful fruit. These are the avocados that I currently offer to you. The first avocado crop from my stumped trees will arrive in early Winter of 2013. I anticipate an even larger crop in 2014, truly the “fruits of my labor”–cultivated and picked by my own hands. Since Cosmo accompanies me during my lengthy forays into our grove, the farm bears her name.”
You can purchase avacados, and other delicious fruits from Michael Karp of Cosmos’ Acres on Pick-A-Pepper.
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